Support Your Independent Nursery Month: Barton Springs Nursery

It’s Support Your Independent Nursery month! Each Wednesday in October I’m posting about one of my favorite independent garden centers in the Austin area. Today I’m shining a spotlight on Barton Springs Nursery, located on Bee Caves Road between MoPac and Highway 360.

BSN is a great resource for local gardeners. They carry a huge selection of native and well-adapted plants, and they have a helpful, knowledgeable sales staff. If you’ve lost plants to the drought (and who hasn’t?), go visit and ask someone for a few suggestions for your (sunny, shady, whatever) spot. They won’t just give you a blank look or try to push an ill-suited plant off on you, I promise.

BSN propagates a lot of their own plants, which you can buy in smaller, more-economical 4-inch pots. Aside from keeping prices lower this also ensures that the plants they sell are used to Texas conditions.

On their website they elaborate: “Since 1986 we’ve taken pride in offering one of the best selections of native plants in Central Texas. The majority of our plants grow right here in the nursery, where they become acclimated to our soil, water and climate. We encourage the long-term health of the plant, feeding the soil and using organic pest control. When you buy a plant here, it already knows this is home, and it’s more likely to make an easy transition to your landscape.”

The nursery has taken care to label their 1-gallon offerings with easily read signs that not only identify but specify the growing conditions for their plants.

You can learn a lot from their signs; it’s like having a local plant guide in hand as you shop. Plus each pot has the price written on it. Ever been to a nursery where this isn’t the case? And you have to hunt down someone who can tell you the price? That won’t happen here.

The nursery operates out of an old bungalow that contains the gift shop and sales desk.

There’s good browsing inside: garden books, seeds, indoor and outdoor decor, hats, organic fertilizers, garden tools, and some kid stuff. I come here just to buy gifts sometimes.

Garden furniture is displayed just outside the shop.

The plant tables out back are shaded by spreading oaks, making it pleasant to browse even on warm days.

BSN stocks a good agave, yucca, dyckia, manfreda, and cactus selection too. The cold-hardy ones make good evergreen “shrubs” for central Texas gardens.

BSN carries an extensive palm selection too.

Right now, according to manager Dave Lavrinets, you can find “a new shipment of pottery and concrete, including some neat concrete lanterns.” Their fall bulb shipment is in also; look for those inside the shop and plant daffodils and hyacinths now for a spring display.

Fall is the best time of year to plant in central Texas, and except for frost-tender plants or tropicals, you can plant throughout winter as well. BSN and other local nurseries stay open and stocked all winter. Contrast that with the big-box stores, where Christmas trees will take over the nursery aisles any day now.

Join me next Wednesday as I post about another iconic Austin-area nursery, The Natural Gardener. And please check out my sidebar link Area Nurseries, where I’ve posted photo tours of many of our local garden centers and described what I like about each one. Austin gardeners are blessed with so many good local nurseries. Let’s support them in this tough economy and help them stay in business. I can’t imagine gardening without them. Can you?

Also, check out these posts about Barton Springs Nursery by other Austin garden bloggers:
Jenny Peterson at J Peterson Garden Design
Robin at Getting Grounded
Amy at Go Away, I’m Gardening!
Meredith at Great Stems
Renee at Renee’s New Blog
Katina at Gardening in Austin

All material © 2006-2011 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

20 Responses

  1. Shirley Fox says:

    BSN is on my list for a trip to Austin, it looks like such a great place to visit.

    We are blessed with some excellent independent nurseries in the San Antonio area too.

    Here’s my post on Hill Country Gardens

  2. Cyndi K. says:

    My first visit to BSN was this past weekend – where I picked up a GORGEOUS Santa Rita Prickly Pear…and am still picking the needles from my hands (amateur mistake)….the BSN staff were friendly and helpful – the plants were varied, and some of the prices made me look twice because they were so reasonable. And the gift shop! What a great place to buy…well…gifts. Can’t wait to take my mom there when she visits.

  3. Jenny says:

    I love BSN for their great selection of 4″ pots. So much easier to establish and very economical. Now that the weather is cooling off enough to think about planting this will be one of my first stops.

  4. Great post and pics, Pam! Barton Springs Nursery will always, always be one of my favorites–in my opinion, they have one of the best nursery staffs around, and their plants are always healthy and well-stocked. We <3 BSN!

  5. I agree with all the comments above. BSN is a great place to find plants that can live in our area.
    I can never leave there empty-handed.

  6. You’ve convinced me Pam, I’m ready for a visit to BSN!

    I joined your theme today by posting about my neighborhood nursery, Garden Fever. I wish I would have had time to take you there when you visited. All I can say is “next time”…

  7. Julie says:

    This place has a great selection of roses from Antique Rose Emporium too. Thanks, Pam.

  8. Kim says:

    Barton Springs Nursery is the only nursery in Austin I have not visited. The one time I tried I got lost. I plan to try again. I hear so many good things about it from other Texas bloggers. I have posted on my blog one of my favorites in San Antonio.

  9. Barton Springs Nursery was one of my favorite places in Austin. But there is another really marvelous place to buy plants that will do well in your area, while supporting the continued existence of Native Plants. That is the Lady Bird Johnson plant sales. The next one is happening October 14 – 16. The information is all on their site. And they have bar codes on their plants that allow you to use a smart phone app to access their data base and learn all about each plant. That is the only place to buy many native plants because they have not yet gotten into the plant trade.

    I used to volunteer there, helping to plant, bump up and weed the plants the center was growing for sale. That is a way to always have plants to grow while learning lots about native plants.

  10. Peter schaar says:

    I always visit BSN when I’m in Austin. It is a great nursery. The closest things we have in DFW are Northaven in Dallas and Weston Gardens in Fort Worth. Both of those fit your comments about BSN. Rohde’s in Garland is very good as well and offers organic mosquito spraying. Finally, Redenta’s in Dallas is a high quality neighborhood nursery. Their main nursery is in Arlington; I have not visited it.

  11. Denise says:

    I don’t see how another nursery can top this, so anxiously awaiting next Wednesday’s post!

  12. David R. says:

    Second what Peter said. Most of my family lives in Austin so I usually try to make it down when I can. For me, Barton Springs, The Great Outdoors and the Natural Gardener are all pit stops before I see my Mom. Sometimes she goes with me. I like the fact that I can find some four inch stuff that would normally be in gallon pots. You don’t see that much.

  13. Indie says:

    I love your Support Your Independent Nursery month!

    That nursery sounds like such a wonderful place! I love how informative the signs are – that makes it so much easier to find the right plant for the spot.

  14. Alison says:

    This looks like a cool place! Looking forward to reading about the other nurseries that you are showcasing this month. I decided to participate in your theme too, and wrote about a nursery up here in Washington.

  15. katina says:

    GAH! I KNEW I forgot something yesterday – my nursery post! i blame the fact that my cat’s going through another bout of kidney failure (so I didn’t get home until 8 last night). I’ll write a post tonight.

  16. Wow! Thank you for rallying all this incredible support for local nurseries! We consider ourselves really lucky to have such a great customer base of plant addicts. We just got in healthy shipments of hardy perennials, trees, annual color, fall/winter veggies, and pottery and we are always stocking with plants that are grown on site. Please come check us out – now is the time to plant in Central Texas! Pam, the pictures of your garden are always inspiring; keep it up! Thanks everybody!

  17. […] Outdoors, a nursery with a hipster vibe just south of downtown. For a look back at my post about Barton Springs Nursery click here. And please check out my sidebar link Area Nurseries, where I’ve posted photo […]

  18. […] And here at Digging, I’m giving away TWO prizes to two different winners: a $100 gift certificate & a Fall Power Package (valued at $50) from Barton Springs Nursery, one of my very favorite nurseries! (Click for my post about BSN.) […]

  19. […] Please follow the links to my weekly posts about local nurseries. Barton Springs Nursery The Natural Gardener The Great […]

  20. […] I’ve posted about one of my favorite independent garden centers in the Austin area, including Barton Springs Nursery (where I photographed the chalkboard pictured above!), The Natural Gardener, and The Great […]